tv Washington Week PBS July 9, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
>> what do you think of when you see a tree? a treatment for cancer? alternative fuel for our cars? do you think of hope for the environment, or food, clothing, a shelter? we do. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to, and the parties are still far apart on a wide range of issues. >> this week on "inside
washington," still no deal on the debt ceiling. >> we do not support cuts in benefits of social security and medicare. >> will democrats ever dare touch the third rail of american politics? will republicans ever consider raising taxes? >> we are not going to raise taxes on the american people. >> mitt romney is running first in new hampshire, michele bachmann is winning the hearts of conservative christians. >> i am impressed with her christian background. >> the president has discovered twitter. >> i am going to make history as the first president to live tweet. >> rupert murdoch's tabloid giant "news of the world" is dead, a shame. >> it finally breached a trust with readers. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
>> for the record, and unemployment rose to 9.2% last month, even though the economy added 18 at thousand jobs. still no deal on the debt limit. they are going to work over the weekend. the president and speaker boehner have been talking about a plan that would cut $4 trillion at government spending over the next 15 years, but how you do that? close tax loopholes, reduce tax deductions? what republicans ever dared to do that? will democrats ever signed onto cuts in medicare and social security? >> democrats, suck it up. put the entitlements on the table and make sure at the end of the 80's are still programs that serve the public -- at the end of the day these are still programs that serve the public. >> dick durbin. all sounds so reasonable, why can they not get done? >> i don't know why.
i do know why. if you look at the polling data, the american public wants no changes in social security, medicare, medicaid. the democrats, having desire of winning back the house, they don't want to go there. the republicans have a bigger flank of new members elected on a pledge of no new taxes. nobody is dealing with reality, and anybody on this panel, two of us could make a deal, but they cannot. >> why cannot make a deal, charles? >> nancy pelosi is the classic definition of a reactionary liberal. she wants no changes in entitlements. social security was created in the 1930's, when life expectancy was 62. it is now roughly 80. if you are not going to make changes, you will wreck the american economy and everybody over the age of nine knows that. there are easy ways you could approach eight. if they are not prepared to
means test in diamonds, which means the rich will pay more and the poor will pay less, which you would think a liberal would like, who always argued in terms of the sharing the sacrifice and the rich bearing the burden, nothing will happen. >> colby? >> you just had exhibit number one of white they have not been able to reach a deal, as my friend charles express 8. if you start out with nancy pelosi is the reason nothing is happening and you leave out the rigid position of republicans on tax increases, you see why we are at this impasse. frankly, i would rather be here anyway. the president was attacked for putting forth a budget that did not address entitlements. i do not think for a second that he would go a year without doing something about it. what he did was allow the republicans to go first, they jumped behind the ryan plan until the medicare reaction came
in and they stepped back on the curb to think about maybe making a few little changes. >> evan? >> i actually feel a glimmer of hope. the papers on friday, "wall street journal," john boehner puts the chances that 50-50. obama finally, finally, after all these months of doing nothing, sided with the $4 trillion a solution, the big solution, which includes tax reform and dealing with entitlements. maybe i'm whistling past the graveyard, but for the first time i feel a tiny bit of hope they can get this done. >> did we hear a suggestion from speaker boehner earlier this week that possibly, they might consider an increase in tax revenues? >> if you were to means test social security, for example, not a crazy idea, but it is a tax increase -- >> it is not a tax increase, it is a reduction of benefits.
>> obama, as far as i can tell, has basically, and so far, thrown in the towel. he says he wants to have some loopholes close, but that unsystemic revenue increase does not get you very far. the question that is where you got? -- where do you cut? you have to cut everywhere, especially in science, especially defense, but you also have tax increases -- especially entitlements, especially defense, but you also have to have tax increases. >> that is not true. obama, as i understand it, has presented a range of options brought the little group decided to talk through the weekend about getting to the big one, $4 trillion, which would include tax reform, maybe lowering tax rates in the but, getting rid of a lot of loopholes. we're talking big money. and doing something on social
security and medicare. this could all easily collapse, but for the first time, you have the leader of the country and the principal legislators at least looking at the possibility of doing the right thing. >> but the leader of the country passed the lead. he has not yet, even though we of rumors he is prepared to discuss. that is language he has used it for two -- "i am happy to discuss" -- it is not discussion time, it is crunch time. why have we not heard one proposal from the president? the republicans have made a lot. what are you going to do on medicare? >> this is such a circular argument we are having here. some of us, a few of us, one of us -- [laughter] had an idea earlier in the year that it would come to this, that the president would deliberately not put his cards on the table as far as attendance were concerned -- entitlements were
concerned, "come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly." in came the republicans with the ryan plan, got their heads handed to them politically -- i am not saying it is substantively wrong. they art forced now to come to the table and talk seriously about making changes. i don't see that as dithering on the sidelines at all. i saw it as a strategy he was pursuing. >> let me give you one example, just one example of a measure. for example, medicare eligibility starts at 65. social security is higher. it was indexed in the greenspan comments of the early 1980's and is now in the mid-60's. why are they different? it makes no sense at all brought a serious proposal is to -- it makes no sense at all. a serious proposal is to sync
the ages and index them to longevity. if the president proposes that, he is serious. >> spending and debt are a burden on the american people and a they create uncertainty for the american people and really create uncertainty for small business people. if we are serious about beginning to end uncertainty, dealing with the short-term debt problems at the long-term debt problems are critically important. the president asked us earlier this year to increase the debt limit for our country with no changes in spending and no changes in terms of how we spend the american people's money. i made clear that we would not increase the debt limit without real cuts in spending and changes to the way we spend a the american people's money. >> they must ask themselves if they want to be the kind of party david brooks, conservative, describe, a party of fanatics who don't compromise no matter how sweet a deal for their side might be and how
great consequences for the nation. >> the senate majority leader was talking about conservative and "new york times" columnist david brooks' column saying that the republican party is no longer a normal party. its members, charles, don't accept the logic of compromise. >> forgive me, but i have to correct your copy again. he is a great columnist, but not a conservative. he is a moderate -- >> moderate conservative. >> no, he is a moderate. >> he is a moderate. he is open to all use. i think what republicans are doing on taxes is correct. if you hear eric cantor or john boehner, we are ready for tax reform, which was done in the mid-1980's, a most successful piece of legislation. you cut out the loopholes and use the money to cut rates.
you get a fairness and the rich don't have advantages by having lobbyists create loopholes and exploit them, and you stimulate economic growth because the liberals are in and of themselves distorting economically and at the low rates encourage economic activity. that is what republicans have been asking for, not to eliminate a loophole here and there, which come in the end, and that absolutely nothing -- amount to absolutely nothing. >> "validity of the public debt of the united states shall not be questioned." section 4, a man in 14 of the u.s. constitution. would -- amendment 14 of the u.s. constitution. what did they ever invoke it? >> i doubt it, but it is a good bargaining chip. the president could argue he does not need congress to raise the debt limit. of course, it would go to court and drag out. it is not going to happen but it
is a bargaining chip. >> the treasury secretary brought it up. >> it is not a bargaining chip at all. it is a death warrant if he does something like that now, going against decades, a decade of legislation where year after year the debt limit has been raised by the congress when the president has requested it. whether it is a democratic congress, our public and congress, democratic president, republican president -- democratic congress, republican congress, democratic president, republican president. when ronald reagan was confronted with the same issue, he said, "the full consequences of the defaults or even the serious prospect of a default or impossible to predict or even contemplate. putting the full faith and credit of the united states in jeopardy is a terrible thing to do." that is what this group of republicans, unlike the past republicans, have done, david brooks has his finger on. this is kind of a different
bunch -- >> every generation -- these conservatives are lousy -- and like ronaldes -- reagan nostalgia. >> we love to sit on this show and talk about partisanship, and i burned a lot of trees doing it myself. but we are at a historic moment here, folks. >> terrifying moment. >> we could have a default, which would be really terrifying, or we could have a deal, tax revenue -- tax reform on the revenue side, entitlement reform it. we could be at a moment with the president of the 96 says that is what he wants to do. >> do you agree with david brooks that republicans have no moral decency or economic theory worthy of the name. but johnxtremes don't, boehner, who often touts the views of the nuts --
>> can i get a word in here? >> is a responsible guy and he can pull this off. bargaining -- "i cannot control, they are crazy." is a valuable bargaining chip for him. >> it is nice being on a show in which at hominems are not used, nuts and attacks. liberals are always thought this yesterday's -- always logic about yesterday's conservatives. everybody worships ronald reagan. i lived through the model reagan er -- the ronald reagan era and liberals and considered him to dance and a threat to civilization. on the 14th amendment, it would end up under the jurisdiction of the john roberts in the impeachment court. >> we have been talking about
this for 20 years, the need to fix entitlements, everybody says we have to do it, nobody does anything, and here we are. >> this the most historic weekend of the obama presidency by far. the president has the chance to pull off the big deal that is going to secure our economic future. if he fails at it, able be a really die your future -- it will be a really dire future. obama actually has a chance to be the leader he wants to be. it will get him reelected if he does it, even though everybody is squawking and complaining of. this is his absolute moment of test as a leader. >> what about the seniors? if he does something about medicare and social security -- >> that is what true leadership is. he has to persuade his base that he is doing something for them. he is preserving democracy, believe me. if we don't get control of this debt thing, we are on the road
to becoming greece. >> can i make a few points on that? number one, it did not have to be a moment, did not have to be a crisis brought all, has been and -- did not have to be a crisis. obama has been in office 2.5 years. he had a debt commission and he ignored it. all of a sudden is a crisis. secondly, he stepped aside, and the republicans offered a plan on medicare. you can argue he is good or not, but it was serious and risky and courageous. obama and pelosi and reid -- pelosi literally said it would kill the elderly. not putting them in the snow anymore, putting a stake in their heart. you demagogue the issue, and all of a sudden he will rise above it and offer your own? i would like to see it. it would be a great moment. >> i have, obviously, a different perspective on this. [laughter] 20 years of talking about it and getting no action at all, and
all of a sudden, three years into his presidency, with movement on this issue f. don't -- >> i have not said -- >> look at where we are now. >> $4.50 trillion at baxter in debt is where we are now. -- $4.5 trillion extra added that is where we are now. >> oh, don't go there. we don't talk about unfunded wars, bush tax cuts -- >> no one has ever come close to this g e p-t-deficit -- gdp-to- deficit -- >> charles, you have a straight face when you say that. how can you do that? look at what the bush tax cuts and the wars did to us.
>> everybody is to blame. all whole culture has spent beyond its means. >> starting with the voters, who have been unrealistic expectations they can have everything for nothing. the only ray of hope is that people did not hammer their heads off after the meeting on their headsammer off after the meeting on friday. at the minute people talking to microphones and make ultimatums, everything is very bad. if the they shot out, that is at least a ray of hope -- if they shut up, that is at least our rate of hope. >> they are going after court constituencies. republicans will have to make difficult calls, so will democrats. if you do something about entitlement programs, you are taking away the democrats' issue. they are about to wrap this around the republicans' necks and they are afraid this
will be taken away from them by president obama. charles, you ought to be applauding this. >> i have a feeling we will be talking about this again. >> we did something kind of unusual three years ago as a nation. we elected a person who, very nice fellow, we did not know very well, did not have a track record we could look at. he had never run anything before. he had not really had a leadership role before. and yet he was an eloquent spokesperson for bring america together. there were some people in the last campaign to said, i wonder what will happen if we elect the president someone who does not have experience. now we know, it is not so good. >> we know from our founding documents in this nation, in the declaration of independence is written that we have been endowed by our creator with
certain inalienable rights. our founders were not afraid to talk about a creator. they were not afraid to articulate the fact that we were created in the image and likeness of a holy god. they said that we have been given rights from god. this is what is profound about america. >> that was mitt romney campaign in new hampshire, leading in the polls, by the way, and michelle bachmann campaigning in iowa. she spoke at a church about our inalienable rights as americans having been endowed by g. d -- by god. it makes sense politically for both of them, doesn't it? >> it does, and everybody is follow weighing a predictable course, but everybody is waiting for the governor of texas to jump in -- >> or not. >> the course we are on now, it
looks like mitt romney will back into the nomination. >> look at the money he has raced. >> he raised $20 million but he did not meet his expectations. there are questions about what that says about mitt romney's will fundraising ability. the other thing that has happened is the backhanded criticism that has come michele bachmann's way because of her references to god. the event you are talking about was before the congregation of evangelicals. she did not get into politics -- >> she quoted the declaration of independence, thomas jefferson. she talked about how she came to her -- >> she talked about how she came to her faith, was not critical of the president or partisan at all. it was appropriate to talk about what she talked about. >> also, a lot of the people she
wants to reach are like- minded. >> mike huckabee did very well with that same constituency. >> speaking of gov. perry, the only thing holding him back is could you raise the money and put the infrastructure in place at this date? there is an undercurrent of bad blood between the perry forces and the forces of george w. bush, and since this is "inside washington," we should not fail to mention that brought a lot of that is going on behind the scenes as well. >> they say the president could raise up to $60 million. i wonder if at some point the american people will get fed up? >> at some point it is diminishing returns. it will be a referendum on obama unless a nut is nominated on the republican side. >> of which they have many to choose from. >> that was said ironically.
do i have to explain the jokes here? mitt romney is going to benefit from one thing. if the debt reduction talks succeed, it will deideologize the election. obama will have to concede on entitlements, republicans on taxes. the idea o eight -- it will be an election on the state of the economy and stewardship, and stewardship is mitt romney's strong point. he is the one who benefits if the agreement happens. >> the president went on twitter this week, he has been on youtube and facebook, has got to energize the youth vote. the question is, is it going to be enough? >> he still has to hold onto his base to begin with, and his base is very unhappy at this point. they here talk about changes in
the entitlement programs, which are necessary, but if they do not want to hear that. there is serious grumbling taking place. tabloidt murdoch's "news of the world" is dead. >> what would you stop that, would you stop at anything to get a story? they would not, they would do anything. >> even breaking the law? >> absolutely. >> that is a former reporter and editor at "news of the world," now-defunct because rupert murdoch's company has killed it because a at been hacking into the voice mails of families of soldiers killed, victims of terrorism. even by british tabloids -- >> when you say that, you are really moving to bar. rupert murdoch was in a sense made by this world, made money
bite appealing to people's salacious instincts, it naked girls and murders. now it is coming around to haunt him. he is an extraordinary operator becau -- so he will get away with this, but shutting down a newspaper? >> the media conglomerate owns fox tv, "-- wall street " -- -- "wall street journal" -- >> which is why this is on page one of "the new york times." >> and "the washington post." rupert murdoch is about to buy complete control of a big television networks, and that is in doubt now. you see this year, in england at this is happening, and in italy, silvio berlusconi owns huge portions of the media. fox television does not have anything about this on its website. you have to worry about this in
a democracy. >> the question is not the size of the ownership, it is the breakdown in ethics ant "news of the world." they went far beyond the pale, it ought to be shut down. he will come back with something else. >> niot immmoral, amoral. >> it is indefensible. it started with the tapping into celebrities and the royals, and everybody was atwitter about that, when it became about a dead girl and dead soldiers, it became utterly beyond the pale. rupert murdoch is, if nothing else, decisive. he shut down the paper in three days and did the right thing. >> last word, see you next week.